About this Research Topic
In this setting, organizations must exchange information in a trusted way. As some participants may be competitors, organizations must ensure to provide to other partners all and only the information required for executing the distributed processes, while at the same time avoiding the leaking of confidential information. Similarly, mechanisms to ensure the provenance of the information provided, and to verify the identity of the participants, should be put in place.
Blockchain systems are a promising building block to address trust issues in information systems. Thanks to their distributed nature and their ability to reach consensus among untrusted parties, blockchains proved to be successful supporting the exchange of assets (e.g., cryptocurrency) in a trusted way. It is indeed almost impossible to alter or delete the information stored on the blockchain. Additionally, second-generation blockchains have introduced smart contracts, arbitrary agreements embodied by immutable code executed among multiple participants with possibly conflicting interests. Despite these features, exploiting the blockchain to build trusted information systems remains far from trivial.
Although the execution of smart contracts, as well as the on-chain data (i.e., data that originate from the blockchain itself), can be considered secure, the same cannot be said of the smart contracts and of the data that they receive as input. First, smart contracts may contain code vulnerabilities, which may cause unexpected behavior and be exploited by malicious agents. Second, input data originating from outside of the blockchain may be critical. These data, in fact, are not subject to the tight consistency constraints implemented by blockchains. Consequently, they may contain errors, or they may come from unreliable sources.
Within this context, the goal of this special issue is to collect techniques, methods and approaches that address the issues identified above to achieve trusted information systems based on blockchains.
To achieve this goal, contributions may include, but are not limited to, the following important and interesting areas:
• Designing secure and privacy-aware blockchain-based information systems.
• Developing trusted hybrid (both on-chain and off-chain) applications.
• Verifying the compliance of blockchain-based information system with respect to security and privacy requirements.
• Evaluating the risk and the impact of vulnerable smart contracts in blockchain-based information systems.
• Assessing the reliability of the external data sources being used in a blockchain-based information system.
• Assessing and improving the quality of smart contract code.
• Guaranteeing that smart contract code is trusted by design.
• Assessing and improving the quality of external data being included in the blockchain.
• Keeping track of the provenance of input data external to the blockchain.
• Building secure- and data quality-aware blockchain oracles.
• Building secure- and data quality-aware blockchains
Keywords: Trusted information systems, Smart contract quality, Blockchain data quality, Secure smart contracts, Off-chain data assessment
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.